Joe Roberts bags maiden try, but Wales overpowered by France

Rob Lloyd News

Scarlets centre Joe Roberts marked his Six Nations debut and his maiden home appearance for Wales with a first try for his country.

Roberts crossed early in the second half as Wales threatened to upset France in Cardiff. However, Les Bleus powered through in the final 15 minutes to emerge 45-24 winners in a gripping round four Guinness Six Nations clash.

“It was nice to get a try in my first Six Nations start; perhaps there was a bit of white line fever, but I backed myself to get the ball down,” said Roberts afterwards.

“I thought we played well in parts, but weren’t as accurate as we could have been and probably overplayed in the final 15 minutes – I didn’t think the final scoreline reflected the game itself.”

Roberts is hoping he has done enough to earn another outing in the Championship finale against Italy, also at the Principality Stadium, on Saturday.

“Hopefully I will get the chance to go again,” added the 23-year-old Burry Port product.

“I enjoyed the experience. I was thinking this morning (before the game) it felt like I was starting my international career again.

“There is always competition in the squad, but there is a lot of rugby to come. Hopefully I can get myself on the summer tour and get more experience in the jersey.”

Fellow Scarlet Sam Costelow also got himself on the scoreboard with nine points from three successful conversions and an early penalty.

Ioan Lloyd and Gareth Davies came off the bench in the second half, but hooker Ryan Elias was withdrawn before kick-off because of a hamstring issue.

On Thursday night, prop Josh Morse and centre Macs Page crossed for tries in Wales U20s’ 45-12 defeat to France at the Arms Park.

Hooker Harry Thomas and back-rowers Luca Giannini and Will Plessis were the other Scarlets who featured for Richard Whiffin’s side.